Author: Consumer Choice Center

Backing #Vaping to beat #Cancer

The upcoming European Union’s Beating Cancer Plan is a historic chance to improve public health in Europe. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the EU. 1.3 million people die from cancer each year in the EU and 700,000 of those deaths are associated with smoking. Despite these terrifying numbers, approximately 140 million Europeans are still smoking. The European Union is right to tackle the disease with a holistic approach, writes Michael Landl (pictured).

A comprehensive approach needs to include prevention and harm reduction. While it is important that lawmakers do everything, they can to prevent people from starting smoking, it is equally important to support current smokers in their quest to quit. Including e-cigarettes (vaping) in the EU Beating Cancer Plan will help millions of European who are struggling to quit smoking and consequently prevent many deaths associated with cancer from smoking.

E-cigarettes contain liquid which is heated and turned into vapour. There is no tobacco nor tar in e-cigarettes and many of the toxins in cigarettes are not present in e-cigarettes. In 2015, Public Health England declared that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and began recommending that current smokers switch to electronic cigarettes. Countries like Canada and New Zealand followed their lead and have helped save millions of lives. In fact, these policies promoting vaping arguably achieved more in a short period of time than what lawmakers tried to accomplish for years: fewer people smoking cigarettes. 

We know that abstinence is not as effective as alternatives, such as vaping. According to a 2019 study from Queen Mary University London of 100 smokers trying to quit cold turkey, only three to five succeed – while according to the same study, vaping is even more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy, like patches or gums.

Despite the weight of evidence, a number of governments have considered new restrictions on vaping, rather than make it more accessible. While often well intentioned most newly proposed regulations, such as flavour liquid bans or higher taxes, would disproportionately harm smokers who are trying to quit. This runs directly against the goal of beating cancer.

The EU Beating Cancer Plan is a massive opportunity to ramp up the fight against smoking. Lawmakers should include vaping in the plan as a harm reduction tool to prevent cancer. The European Union’s institutions and governments should follow the lead of countries like the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand and encourage the use of vaping as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers.

If the European Union is serious about improving health, we must back vaping to beat cancer.

About the World Vapers’ Alliance

The World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) amplifies the voice of passionate vapers around the world and empowers them to make a difference for their communities. The alliance partners with 19 groups representing vapers worldwide and represents individual vapers. Michael Landl, the WVA’s director, is an experienced policy professional and a passionate vaper.

Originally published here.

Bahaya Pelarangan dan Perdagangan Gelap

Bahaya Pelarangan dan Perdagangan Gelap

Perdagangan gelap dan barang-barang ilegal merupakan salah satu permasalahan besar yang hingga saat ini masih terus terjadi di dunia. Melalui maraknya perdagangan gelap, bukan hanya para pedagang barang-barang yang legal yang dirugikan, tetpai juga para konsumen, karena mereka akan mendapatkan dan mengkonsumsi barang-barang yang tidak diregulasi dan tidak jarang juga sangat berbahaya.Pada tahun 2012 misalnya, lembaga Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB) yang menangani isu-isu mengenai kriminalitas, United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, memberi estimasi nilai perdagangan ilegal internasional sebesar USD870 miliar. Angka tersebut tentu merupakan jumlah yang sangat besar.Tidak seperti yang mungkin dibayangkan oleh sebagian kalangan, perdagangan gelap yang trejadi di berbagai belahan dunia tidak hanya melibatkan zat-zat psikotropika yang berbahaya dan juga barang-barang mewah, namun juga berbagai barang-barang sederhana yang mudah kita jumpai dan kita gunakan sehari-hari. Produk-produk pakaian sehari-hari misalnya, dan produk-produk pangan misalnya, juga merupakan barang-barang yang dijual di banyak pasar gelap.Produk-produk tembakau misalnya, juga merupakan salah satu produk yang kerap diperjualbelikan di pasar gelap. Tidak bisa dipungkiri bahwa produk-produk tembakau merupakan produk yang memiliki dampak buruk bagi kesehatan penggunanya. Hal ini tentu berpotensi kian diperparah bila produk-produk tembakau tersebut didapatkan di dalam pasar ilegal yang tidak diregulasi oleh pemerintah dan tidak dapat dicek dan diketahui keamanannya bagi konsumen.Bank Dunia (World Bank) memberi definisi perdagangan ilegal tembakau sebagai seluruh kegiatan menjual, mendistribusi, dan membeli produk-produk tembakau yang dilarang oleh hukum. Hal tersebut termasuk juga pemalsuan dan pembajakan produk tembakau tertentu, dan juga menyelundupkan produk-produk tersebut (World Bank, 2019).

Sebagaimana produk-produk ilegal lainnya, produk-produk tembakau ilegal yang beredar di pasar juga umumnya memiliki harga yang jauh dibawah dengan produk-produk legal yang diregulasi oleh pemerintah. Berdasarkan laporan World Bank tahun 2019 lalu, Produk-produk tembakau yang dijual di Brazil dan Argentina misalnya, memiliki harga 50% lebih murah dibandingkan dengan produk-produk tembakau yang legal. Hal yang sama juga terjadi di Paraguay, yang perbedaan harganya mencapai 67% Di negara tetangga kita, Malaysia, harga produk-produk tembakau ilegal memiliki perbedaan 55% dari harga produk-produk yang legal (World Bank, 2019).Peredaran produk-produk tembaau ilegal bukan hanya masalah yang dihadapi oleh negara-negara berkembang di kawasan Asia atau Amerika Latin. Negara-negara dunia pertama di Eropa misalnya, juga menghadapi permasalahan tersebut. Organisasi Uni Eropa yang menangani kasus-kasus korupsi dan kriminalitas, European Union Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), memberi estimasi pasar tembakau ilegal di negara-negara Uni Eropa pada tahun 2020 sebesar 10 miliar Euro (Consumer Choice Center, 2020). Aktivitas dari perdagangan produk-produk tembakau ilegal bukan hanya dapat semakin membahayakan konsumen-konsumennya yang mengkonsumsi produk-produk ilegal tersebut, akan tetapi aktivitas tersebut juga memberi keuntungan kepada organisasi-organisasi kriminal (organized crimes). Menteri Kesehatan Italia mislanya, pada tahun ini menyatakan bahwa aktivitas perdagangan ilegal produk-produk tembakau telah memberikan pemasukan dua kali lipat bagi organisasi-organisasi kriminal di negaranya, yang sebelumnya hanya mendapatkan pemasukan dari penjualan zat-zat psikotropika ilegal seperti heroin dan kokain (Consumer Choice Center, 2020).

Ada beberapa dampak yang signifikan dari marak dan banyaknya produk-produk tembakau ilegal, sebagaimana yang dicatat oleh World Bank. Selain masalah kesehatan, sebagaimana yang sudah diungkapkan sebelumnya, di mana produk tembakau memang secara saintifik berbahaya bagi kesehatan dan hal tersebut akan kian diperparah dengan prduk-produk ilegal yang tidak diregulasi, produk-produk tembakau ilegal juga akan memiliki dampak yang signifikan terhadap anak-anak di bawah usia (World Bank, 2019).Untuk peredaran dan pasar produk-produk tembakau yang legal misalnya, pemerintah dapat memberlakukan serangkaian regulasi yang ketat, baik di distributor ataupun di pertokoan, untuk memastikan produk-produk tembakau tersebut tidak jatuh ke tangan dan dikonsumsi oleh anak-anak dibawah usia. Bila ada distributor atau toko yang melanggar aturan tersebut, dan mengizinkan anak dibawah usia membeli produk-produk tembakau yang dijual, maka pemerintah dapat memebri sanksi mulai dari denda sampai dengan pencabutan izin usaha.Hal sebaliknya terjadi di dalam pasar tembakau ilegal. Karena aktivitas tersebut dilakuakan secara sembunyi-sembunyi dan berada diluar regulasi pemerintah, maka pemerinath tidak bisa membelakukan serangkaian regulasi penting yang ditujukan untuk melindungi anak-anak dibawah usia untuk mendapatkan produk-produk tembakau. Anak-anak dapat dengan mudah mendapatkan produk tersebut langsung dari para penjual ilegal. Hal ini tentu akan menimbulkan masalah yang sangat besar yang memiliki dampak yang sangat negatif terhadap kesehatan anak-anak.Lantas, apakah yang bisa kita lakukan untuk menanggulangi aktivitas perdagangan ilegal produk-produk tembakau yang sangat berbahaya tersebut? Ada beberapa solusi yang sangat penting untuk diperhatikan dan dilakukan oleh para pembuat kebijakan demi mencegah dan mengurangi aktivitas-aktivitas tersebut. Hal pertama yang paling jelas adalah jangan sampai harga produk-produk tembakau yang legal menjadi meningkat sehingga semakin sulit diakses dan didapatkan oleh masyarakat, terutama masyarakat dari kelas menengah ke bawah.Salah satu hal yang menarik para konsumen untuk membeli produk-produk ilegal, produk apapun itu, baik fashion, pangan, barang-barang elektronik, dan lain sebagainya, termasuk tentunya produk-produk tembakau, adalah produk-produk tersebut memiliki harga yang jauh dibawah dibandingkan dengan produk-produk legal. Dengan menaikkan harga produk-produk legal tertentu yang beredar di pasar, maka hal tersebut akan semakin memberi insentif kepada konsumen untuk membeli dari pasar gelap yang ilegal.Indonesia misalnya, merupakan salah satu negara dengan jumlah perokok terbesar di dunia. Jumlah perokok di negara kita sejumlah lebih dari 65 juta jiwa, atau 34% dari keseluruhan penduduk Indonesia. Dari jumlah tersebut 70% dari perokok di Indonesia berasal dari Rumah Tangga Miskin (Detik.com, 27/08/2016).

Hal tersebut tentu merupakan hal yang sangat penting untuk diperhatikan oleh para pembuat kebijakan industri tembakau, terlebih lagi bila para pembuat kebijakan akan memberlakukan kebijakan untuk menaikkan harga produk-produk tembakau, salah satunya adalah melalui kenaikan biaya cukai. Pada tahun 2020 ini misalnya, pemerintah membelakukan kenaikan cukai rokok yang tertinggi setidaknya sejak tahun 2013 (Katadata.co.id, 2020). Mereka yang paling terkena dampaknya tentu adalah masyarakat yang berpenghasilan rendah dan menegah ke bawah.Dampak dari kebijakan kenaikan cukai rokok yang akan semakin memberi insentif konsumen membeli produk-produk tembakau di pasar ilegal juga merupakan hal yang diungkapkan oleh Aliansi Masyarakat Tembakau Indonesia (AMTI). Yang paling dirugikan, selain konsumen dalam hal ini, juga para produksen dan pekerja yang bekerja di industri tembakau (CNN Indonesia, 10/09/2019). Kebijakan lainnya yang harus diperhatikan adalah tidak memberlakukan kebijakan yang sudah terbukti negara-negara lain gagal dalam menekan peredaran produk-produk tembakau, salah satunya adalah kebijakan kemasan polos. Kebijakan kemasan polos, atau yang dikenal juga dengan plain packaging policy, adalah kebijakan yang melarang setiap produksen produk-produk tembakau untuk menampilkan brand dan logo mereka di depan bungkus produk tersebut, dan digantikan dengan kemasan polos berwarna hitam yang tidak bergambar.Australia merupakan negara pertama yang memberlakukan kebijakan plain packaging pada tahun 2012. Pada tahun 2014, jumlah produk tembakau ilegal yang disita oleh aparat keamanan Australia sebesar 182 ton. Jumlah tersebut semakin meningkat di tahun 2017 menjadi 381 ton (Forbes, 01/21/2017). Kebijakan tersebut sudah terbukti gagal dan justru semakin meningkatkan peredaran produk tembakau ilegal yang sangat berbahaya bagi konsumen.

Sebagai penutup, perdangan produk-produk ilegal, termasuk produk-produk tembakau, merupakan permasalahan besar yang melanda berbagai negara di seluruh dunia. Jangan sampai, justru kebijakan-kebijakan yang dimaksudkan untuk menanggulangi dampak negatif dari tembakau malah berdampak pada peningkatan peredaran produk-produk ilegal, dan semakin memberi insentif bagi konsumen untuk membeli produk di pasar gelap, yang tentunya sangat berbahaya.

Originally published here.

Open Letter to the Members of the Board of the WTO

To the attention of Mr. Tim Yeend,
Chef de Cabinet and Principle Advisor to Director-General
World Trade Organization

Bruxelles, 16 September 2020


Subject: On the risk of TRIPS to create regulatory barriers to medical innovation

Dear Mr. Tim Yeend,

In light of the “vaccine nationalism” and buy-outs of the broad-spectrum antiviral medication “Remdesivir”, much of the emphasis on intellectual property issues revolved around coronavirus has focused on immunizations and medicines, and we couldn’t stand aside from
this timely discussion.

Earlier this month, South Africa issued a communication titled “Beyond Access to Medicines and Medical Technologies Towards a More Holistic Approach to TRIPS Flexibilities.” It was pointed out that the COVID-19 response required looking beyond patents towards a more “integrated approach to TRIPS flexibilities that include other various types of intellectual property (IP) rights including copyrights, industrial designs and trade secrets” (IP/C/W/666).

“TRIPS flexibilities” that are usually used to refer to exceptions allowing countries to override global IP rules for public health reason have been used mainly in regard to patents. However, as the communication argues, the scope of the flexibilities should also be extended
to other various types of intellectual property (IP) rights including copyrights, industrial designs and trade secrets. As such, the recommendations submitted by South Africa are cross-field as they also touch upon the production and distribution of essential medical devices such as masks, ventilators, and personal protective equipment.

The risk of TRIPS is to create regulatory barriers that go well behind the pharmaceutical industries. Some examples of innovations that are supposed to be shared but face regulatory barriers go beyond pharmaceuticals to AI algorithms for apps and 3D-printed ventilator valves.

As a quick reminder, this can include so-called compulsory licensing when a government authorizes a manufacturer to copy another’s patented medicine. There are other grey areas still to be addressed over compulsory licensing as well as there are many ways to make easier access to vaccines: for example, a mutual recognition of FDA and EMA and other agencies and fast-tracking procedures for some type of medicines.

During tough times, decision-makers are requested to restore certainty to the greatest extent possible. Moreover, this crisis compels us to be one step ahead and anticipate issues.

Looking forward to your swift reaction,
Gianna GANCIA MEP
Anna BONFRISCO MEP
Fulvio MARTUSCIELLO MEP
Massimiliano SALINI MEP
Matteo ADINOLFI MEP
Salvatore DE MEO MEP
Antonio Tajani MEP
Hermann Tertsch MEP
Marlazy Aguilar MEP
Ivan Stefanec MEP
Stefania Zambelli MEP
Fred Roeder, managing director of the Consumer Choice Center

Implementing Virtual Affidavits

Manitoba’s Law Reform Commission Recommends Implementing Virtual Affidavits

After working closely with the Attorney General’s office in Ontario to bring forward virtual commissioning of legal documents via tele-conference, the CCC’s David Clement was asked to consult with Manitoba’s Law Reform Commission

Specifically, Manitoba was looking for guidance on how they could modernize their legal system and enact similar changes.

On August 31st, the Law Reform Commission released their report, where they made the suggestion that Manitoba should in fact move forward with modernizing their legal system by allowing affidavits to be taken virtually via video-conference.

The Commission acknowledged the CCC in the following way: 

The Commission gratefully acknowledges the following individuals for providing valuable feedback on this project: David Clement, North American Affairs Manager- Consumer Choice Center

The Commission officially made the following recommendation:

The Commission recommends that section 64(1) of The Manitoba Evidence Act be amended to remove the requirement that an oath, affirmation or statutory declaration be taken only in the presence of a person and to enable affidavits to be taken remotely using video-conferencing technology. (p 15)

Forbrugerorganisation er imod suspension af slotregler

Forbrugerorganisationen Consumer Choice Center mener ikke, at det er en god idé at forlænge suspensionen af EU-slotreglerne hen over vinteren, som er foreslået af lufthavne og flyselskaber.

I sidste uge meddelte en række europæiske luftfartsorganisationer, at man ønsker suspensionen af slotreglerne i EU-lufthavne forlænget hen over den kommende vintersæson. Reglerne har været suspenderet gennem sommertrafikprogrammet og er det fortsat frem til 24. oktober.

Forslaget fra de europæiske lufthavne og flyselskaber får dog kraftig modstand fra Consumer Choice Center, der er en international forbrugerorganisation, som repræsenterer forbrugere i over 100 lande verden over. Organisationen har netop sendt et brev til generaldirektør Henrik Hololei i EU-Kommissionen, hvori der udtrykkes stor bekymring over, at kommissionen overvejer at forlænge suspensionen af slotreglerne.

”Forlængelsen vil skabe den situation, hvor de største flyselskaber får en chance for at monopolisere slottider, hvilket gør det umuligt for de mindre at komme ind. Et sådant skridt vil være yderst protektionistisk, forvridende og ville gøre mere skade end gavn,” siger Fred Roeder, administrerende direktør i Consumer Choice Center.

Skal normalt operere mindst 80 procent
EU-Kommissionen godkendte den midlertidige suspension af reglerne om anvendelse af lufthavnsslots (start- og landingstilladelser, red.) i slutningen af marts. Suspensionen gjaldt sommersæsonen over som følge af coronakrisens konsekvenser.

Normalt skal flyselskaber operere mindst 80 procent af de slottider, som de har fået tildelt. Dette ud fra den såkaldte 80-20-regel. Hvis ikke selskaberne formår dette, risikerer de at miste retten til slottiderne i næste tilsvarende sæson. Myndighederne kan dog lempe på disse krav under særlige omstændigheder.

EU-Kommissionen vurderede coronakrisen som en særlig omstændighed, og de europæiske lufthavne og flyselskaber lægger således nu pres på for at få forlænget suspensionen. Der er tale om ACI Europe (ACI), Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airlines International Representation in Europe (AIRE), International Air Transport Association (IATA) og European Association of Slot Coordinators (EUACA), som sammen håber, at kommissionen forlænger.

Nye aktører bør få muligheder
Consumer Choice Center er som beskrevet lodret uenig med lufthavnene og flyselskaberne, da slottiderne konstant bør kunne bevæge sig fra selskab til selskab.

”Ejerskabet af lufthavnsslots bør ikke være statisk. Tværtimod bør ejerskabet konstant skifte mellem flyselskaber for at garantere den mest effektive tildeling af faciliteterne og tilskynde til ansvarlig brug af lufthavne. Slotreglerne er i denne forstand fair og retfærdige og skal opretholdes til enhver tid,” påpeger Maria Chaplia, europæisk medarbejder i Consumer Choice Center.

Fred Roeder supplerer med, at det, der er brug for i øjeblikket, er flere forbindelsesmuligheder – og ikke færre.

”Forlængelse af suspensionen vil sandsynligvis holde antallet af flyforbindelser og destinationer langt under niveauet fra før COVID-tiden. Det kan være det rigtige tidspunkt nu for nye aktører at komme ind på markedet for at forbinde mennesker over hele Europa og verden,” siger han.

Vicepræsidenten i IATA, Rafael Schvartzman, har tidligere blandt andet argumenteret med, at en fortsat ophævelse af slotreglerne er essentiel for at sikre, at flyselskaberne ikke flyver med tomme fly. Ligesom en fortsat suspension vil muliggøre flyvning på den mest bæredygtige måde, har han sagt.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Airport Ranking Lists Zurich as Europe’s Best Airport

The Consumer Choice Center recently published its second annual European Airport Index, highlighting the top airports in Europe ranked by passenger-friendliness.

The index should be used to inform both consumers and administrators as to who is doing the best job, accommodating passengers.

The top 5 airports according to the study are Zurich, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Manchester, and Brussels airports.

Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, said the ranking shows consumers which airports allow social distancing and where to connect ideally.

“This year has been one of the most challenging for the global travel industry. Many airports were closed for weeks or even months. While travel slowly recovers we want to inform consumers which airports are the most convenient to travel from and to in Europe. Airports with more space per passenger rank higher in our analysis. This is helpful to know for travelers who try to maintain distance from others. If you have to travel this Summer, you might want to consider starting or ending your journey at well-designed airports such as Zurich, Düsseldorf, or Copenhagen.

“High points were awarded to the airports that offered great destinations around the world, but also a healthy mix of shops, restaurants, and conveniences found at the airport. This year we also added extra points for Covid-19 testing facilities at airports.

“In order to prevent a negative passenger experience and pick the optimal hubs for future trips, we examined Europe’s 30 largest airports (by passenger volume) and ranked them in terms of passenger experience, ranked according to a mix of factors ranging from location and transportation options to in-airport experience and flight network access.”

“Other factors determined in the ranking included direct jet bridges, rather than bus boarding, proximity to the city center, the number of lounges, low security waiting times, and on-time performance by airlines. Bonus points were awarded to airports with pre-clearance for US flights and the ability to broadcast security wait times. We do hope that air travel will eventually recover and passengers use our index to choose the right airport” said Roeder.

The full report is available here.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Pasaran gelap ancam pengguna, ekonomi Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Perdagangan haram atau pasaran gelap adalah ancaman besar dan semakin meruncing terhadap rakyat Malaysia apabila kerajaan dan perniagaan sah dilemahkan manakala pengguna pula terdedah kepada produk yang tidak bermutu dan tidak terkawal.

Sebuah kumpulan advokasi pengguna multinasional, Customer Choice Centre (CCC) dalam satu kenyataan hari ini berkata, pasaran gelap global bukan sahaja luas tetapi pesat pertumbuhannya.

Pengarah Urusan CCC, Fred Roeder berkata, ini kerana dagangan haram yang dijalankan oleh kumpulan jenayah terancang transnasional adalah satu permasalahan bernilai AS$870 bilion atau RM3.6 trilion.

Beliau berkata, adalah penting untuk ditegaskan bahawa di peringkat global, pasaran gelap rokok adalah lebih tinggi daripada segi nilai berbanding dagangan haram minyak, haiwan liar, kayu balak, karya kesenian, benda kebudayaan dan berlian disatukan.

“Ini menjadikan apa yang berlaku di Malaysia lebih meruncing kerana rokok seludup kini menguasai 62 peratus jumlah keseluruhan rokok sah yang dijual, menjadikan Malaysia pasaran No.1 di dunia bagi pasaran gelap.

“Sememangnya, permasalahan akut ini telah dan sentiasa akan berterusan mengakibatkan kelembapan ekonomi dan menjejaskan pengguna kebanyakannya,” kata Roeder.

Kenyataan itu dikeluarkan sempena kertas polisi yang baru sahaja dilancarkannya, Illicit Trade is Dangerous for Consumers (Dagangan Haram Adalah Berbahaya Kepada Pengguna).

Menurut kertas polisi CCC, pasaran gelap rokok merosakkan kesihatan orang awam dan telah terbukti menjadi dana membiayai kumpulan jenayah terancang.

Selain itu, pasaran gelap rokok menyasarkan kepada kumpulan paling terdedah di dalam masyarakat, sementara pengguna paling teruk terkena impak disebabkan rokok seludup dikilangkan di dalam persekitaran tidak selamat dan menggunakan produk tidak bersih.

Kertas polisi ini juga menggariskan bahawa peruncit kecil menanggung kerugian besar akibat pasaran gelap rokok kerana bukan sahaja mereka kehilangan jualan rokok sah, tetapi juga barangan lain yang biasanya perokok dewasa beli semasa mereka di dalam kedai.

Roeder berkata, dalam usaha menangani pasaran gelap rokok, kerajaan Malaysia hendaklah mengkaji kepada saranan menyederhanakan dasar cukai untuk memastikan regim cukai tidak mewujudkan permintaan terhadap alternatif haram yang lebih berbahaya.

Pada masa sama, katanya, kerajaan harus meningkatkan hukuman denda sedia ada ke atas pesalah pasaran gelap dan menguatkuasakan denda-denda tersebut dengan tegas.

“Situasi pasaran gelap di peringkat global dan di Malaysia dijangka memburuk kerana pengguna beralih kepada alternatif lebih murah disebabkan ketidaktentuan pekerjaan dan hasil pendapatan berkurangan akibat pandemik global Covid-19.

“Tindakan hendaklah diambil sekarang dan pada Bajet 2021 akan datang, merupakan peluang terbaik untuk Kerajaan Malaysia meletakkan langkah-langkah yang diperlukan bagi menangani masalah pasaran gelap rokok secara menyeluruh,” ujar beliau.

‘Illicit Trade is Dangerous for Consumers’ adalah kertas polisi yang ditulis oleh Luca Bertoletti dan Bill Wirtz untuk CCC dan diterbitkan di Brussels, Belgium pada Julai 2020.

CCC mewakili pengguna di lebih 100 negara di seluruh dunia. Kertas polisi ini boleh didapati di consumerchoicecenter.org

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Global consumer advocacy group urges Malaysia to use Budget 2021 to address tobacco black market – Yahoo

Roeder said illegal cigarettes now command 62 per cent of the total market share cigarettes sold, making Malaysia the number one in the world for this black market. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — An international consumer advocacy group is urging the government to use the upcoming Budget 2021 to implement measures to address the tobacco black market. 

Consumer Choice Center (CCC) wants the Malaysian government to take action against the tobacco black market and illicit trade, which it said is growing to become a serious threat to society and legal businesses.

Its managing director Fred Roeder said consumers are exposed to the risk of poorly-made and unregulated products with the black market.

“Transnational organised crime of illicit trade is a US$870 billion (RM3.6 trillion) problem. The global black market is not only immense but also growing rapidly. It is interesting to note that globally, the tobacco black market is higher in value than the illegal trade in oil, wildlife, timber, arts, cultural property, and blood diamonds combined,” he said in a statement.

Roeder argued that things are even more critical as illegal cigarettes now command 62 per cent of the total market share cigarettes sold, making Malaysia the number one in the world for this black market.

“Naturally this acute problem has and will continue to cause a severe drag to the economy while hurting consumers at large,” Roeder added.

In CCC’s recently-launched policy paper “Illicit Trade is Dangerous for Consumers”, it was found the tobacco black market damages public health and has been proven to finance organised crime. 

Additionally, it targets vulnerable groups in society while consumers are impacted because illegal cigarettes are produced in unsafe environments and using unsafe products.

It also highlighted that small retailers suffer considerably from the tobacco black market as they not only lose legitimate cigarette sales but also other items adult smokers usually buy from them.

“In addressing the tobacco black market, the Malaysian government should look into moderating tax policies to ensure that tax regimes do not create demand for more harmful illicit alternatives. 

“Simultaneously the government should increase the existing penalties for black market perpetrators and enforce these penalties dedicatedly, as the black market situation globally and in Malaysia is expected to deteriorate since consumers will turn to cheaper alternatives due to job security and income stretch resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The policy paper is available at consumerchoicecenter.org

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Global consumer advocacy group urges Malaysia to use Budget 2021 to address tobacco black market

Roeder said illegal cigarettes now command 62 per cent of the total market share cigarettes sold, making Malaysia the number one in the world for this black market. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — An international consumer advocacy group is urging the government to use the upcoming Budget 2021 to implement measures to address the tobacco black market. 

Consumer Choice Center (CCC) wants the Malaysian government to take action against the tobacco black market and illicit trade, which it said is growing to become a serious threat to society and legal businesses.

Its managing director Fred Roeder said consumers are exposed to the risk of poorly-made and unregulated products with the black market.

“Transnational organised crime of illicit trade is a US$870 billion (RM3.6 trillion) problem. The global black market is not only immense but also growing rapidly. It is interesting to note that globally, the tobacco black market is higher in value than the illegal trade in oil, wildlife, timber, arts, cultural property, and blood diamonds combined,” he said in a statement.

Roeder argued that things are even more critical as illegal cigarettes now command 62 per cent of the total market share cigarettes sold, making Malaysia the number one in the world for this black market.

“Naturally this acute problem has and will continue to cause a severe drag to the economy while hurting consumers at large,” Roeder added.

In CCC’s recently-launched policy paper “Illicit Trade is Dangerous for Consumers”, it was found the tobacco black market damages public health and has been proven to finance organised crime. 

Additionally, it targets vulnerable groups in society while consumers are impacted because illegal cigarettes are produced in unsafe environments and using unsafe products.

It also highlighted that small retailers suffer considerably from the tobacco black market as they not only lose legitimate cigarette sales but also other items adult smokers usually buy from them.

“In addressing the tobacco black market, the Malaysian government should look into moderating tax policies to ensure that tax regimes do not create demand for more harmful illicit alternatives. 

“Simultaneously the government should increase the existing penalties for black market perpetrators and enforce these penalties dedicatedly, as the black market situation globally and in Malaysia is expected to deteriorate since consumers will turn to cheaper alternatives due to job security and income stretch resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The policy paper is available at consumerchoicecenter.org

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Argentina’s telecom price controls are economic masochism

Last week, in a bid to ensure unrestricted access for everyone to telecommunication services, the Argentinian government decided to extend a price freeze for TV, internet and mobile services until the end of the year, deeming them “essential public services”.

Prices on these services have been frozen since May, and it was expected that the ban would be lifted at the end of this month.

In response, Luca Bertoletti, Senior European Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center, criticises the move saying that such a policy was populist and economically illiterate, and will destroy Argentina’s relationship with the International Monetary Fund who has been supportive of the country’s – though unsuccessful so far – road to prosperity.

“The Covid-19 crisis has overburdened most economies in the world and Argentina is no different. In order to help the economy get back on track, the Argentinian government will finally need to implement pro-free market reforms instead of holding onto socialist policies such as price controls on telecom services,” said Maria Chaplia, European Affairs Associate at the Consumer Choice Center.

“Argentina’s government should pull itself together and start making the right decisions, instead of pushing the country further down. Argentina deserves better than a populist government that pretends to act in the interests of consumers by extending price controls of TV, internet and mobile services at the expense of future prosperity,” concluded Bertoletti.

Originally published here.

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